Fetus removed from freezer after WBRZ report
LABADIEVILLE - Less than a week after a WBRZ Investigative Unit broke a story about a fetus being held in a freezer for the past six years, it was removed late this evening and shipped to a funeral home.
It happened after Judge Guy Holdridge signed a court order this morning to have a pauper's burial for the fetus.
The reason the fetus sat in a freezer for the past six years was the subject of a WBRZ investigation last week. Our story showed politics may have played a role. Sheriff Mike Waguespack and District Attorney Ricky Babin said over the past six years they've tried to have the fetus buried. However, alarming conversations began to emerge involving Judge Guy Holdridge who presided over the case. One of those conversations said, "Judge would not sign it until after the August election."
Today, we caught up with the judge as he was heading into court.We asked whether his political aspirations had anything to do with the fetus not getting a proper burial.
"That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard," Holdridge said.
He didn't say anything else as he walked into court. However, in court Holdridge shifted the blame away from himself and said the order to bury the fetus was never filed with Clerk of Court.
"We don't commonly file with the Clerk of Court destruction orders," District Attorney Ricky Babin said. "We get the court to sign them first. Our only reason with the involvement was there was a fetus with a list of evidence to be destroyed."
Last week, WBRZ interviewed the mother of the rape victim who miscarried the fetus. She was disgusted to learn the fetus is still in the freezer.
The fetus was evidence in a rape case against Leon Johnlouis, who was convicted back in 2010. However, a court order was in place to hold on to the evidence for two years in case any appeals were filed. When the two years lapsed, the freezer just sat and sat despite attempts by Sheriff Waguespack and District Attorney Babin to get something done.
"I guess the publicity may have helped," Babin said. "We get to close the case and let that child rest in peace."
Late this afternoon, the fetus was removed and sent to a funeral home. Assumption Parish is paying for the burial expenses. The fetus will be buried in Gretna, Louisiana outside of New Orleans.